Plaid Flannel Shirt & Red Lace Up Flats: Speaking My Truth

Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats.

For years now I have been a very vocal advocate for gay rights. I certainly don’t hide my beliefs, nor have I ever had an issue with defending them…


…Yes, a lot of that comes from the fact that I love my son to the moon and back and he happens to be gay. So what? In a perfect world that wouldn’t even be relevant. In my world, it is entirely irrelevant. He is one of the most intelligent, loving and funny human beings that I know, and one of my all time favorite people to spend time with. He is a good human being and that is what matters.

Over the years I have spoken out against homophobic slurs and behavior to perfect strangers, acquaintances and even in the faculty room at work. I do not approach it in a confrontational manner; my primary goal is to educate people. Make no mistake though, if need be, I will get confrontational. Even the most general homophobic remark is a slight against my baby, and that just ain’t happenin’. I will not stand by and remain silent; I don’t care who you are.

Which leads me to the meat of today’s story. A few weeks back I was blindsided by what is truly the most reprehensible and painful display of homophobic behavior I have ever encountered personally. A family member, a close family member, had made the decision to write off my child and deny him of something that is rightfully his simply because he is gay. What. The. Hell. The one thing that I have never had any understanding of nor an ounce of patience for, is people who sever relationships with their children, grandchildren, siblings…whatever, because of their sexuality. I’m not going to lie, when it happened to my child (he wasn’t there for the discussion, only me) initially I didn’t say a word.

Why? I think quite simply because I couldn’t believe that it really happened; it took me some time to fully assimilate it. I also think that my silence was due in part to family dynamics and deeply ingrained childhood survival skills. I learned at a very young age that speaking up, speaking my truth, would inevitably lead to pain; emotional or physical depending on who was involved. In any case, honesty in regard to feelings led nowhere good.

But over the course of the last few weeks, it has been on my mind all day, every day, festering like some sort of poisoned wound. My son, my baby, my heart, had been brutally personally attacked, and I had said nothing. I had been hurt, but more importantly, so had my child. I had stayed away from the individual in question to try and get myself reined in, but when the opportunity to have a conversation presented itself the other day, all bets were off. You hear a lot about unleashing your inner child…ya, well I sat mine in the corner and put her in time out. I had grown up business to attend to.

This time, education was not my goal. No, confrontation was. There was no way that I could live with myself if I didn’t speak my truth. So I did. And I left nothing unsaid. There was really no attempt at defense from the other side except for the typical cherry-picked biblical rhetoric that I’ve come to abhor from self-described “Christians”. I am in no way disrespecting Christian beliefs. I do however have a problem with hypocrisy as well as those who hide behind their rhetoric and use it as reason to judge others.

Over the weekend I spoke to my lifelong bestie about the situation. She is devoutly Christian and also the mom of a gay son. It was interesting how her biblical interpretation differed so markedly. To me, she is proof that having Christian beliefs and being accepting and loving to all with zero judgement are not mutually exclusive.

Did the conversation change anything? No, not in the least. Did the other person have an epiphany and realize that my boy is the same human being as the little boy who used to worship the ground that he walked on? Nope. But am I now able to look at myself in the mirror? Yes, I am. And at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.


First of all, I apologize for doing back to back posts with the same jeans. I try to never do that, but I love them so much I’ve been wearing them all of the time and didn’t realize that I had no other shots to use. When I posted this on Instagram, I called it “country chic”. Between the braid, the flannel and the cornfield in the background I’m right on the edge of looking like the farmer’s slightly more mature daughter.

Since the temperatures have been leaning towards the cool side, a top layer over the ringer tank top was a must. I thought this lightweight red plaid flannel shirt was perfect. It kept me warm enough and when necessary, looked just as cute tied around my hips.

How about the shoes though?! The color is perfection. I found them on clearance at Payless, and since they are the same brand as my blue lace up sandals I figured they’d be comfortable, and I was right. I did add supportive insoles though because my foot is still not back to 100%…close, but not quite there yet.


Light layers are key when the seasons are changing. That way you can add and subtract as needed throughout the day. I always like to make sure that my top layer is something that I can tie around my hips because not only do I like that look, but I tend to lay things down (glasses anyone?) and then forget where I put them.


Check out the weekly link ups I participate in for even more fashion and style ideas…

Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats. Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats.Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats. Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats.Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats. Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats.Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats. Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats.Plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans and red lace up flats.

Shirt: Old Navy (Similar);  Shoes: Payless (Similar);  Jeans: GAP;  Tank Top: Similar



  1. 08.30.2017 / 7:51 am

    You look gorgeous, Debbie. I really love your hair that way too!
    As for your son and family member, well… I am totally with you. I abhor this kind of behaviour. We are all human, regardless of our sexual orientation and it really, really pisses me off when people speak out against others like this. Your bestie sounds amazing – it’s a shame that more people aren’t like her!
    Huge hugs, my friend <3
    Suzy xx
    Suzy Turner at Yogadocious
    Suzy Turner recently posted…An evening to remember at Penina in my blue linen shift dressMy Profile

    • 08.30.2017 / 7:57 am

      Thank you Suzy! We are all human, the differences truly do not matter. And yes, the world would be an infinitely better place if there were more people like her int it. <3

  2. 08.30.2017 / 8:35 am

    Country chic! haha.
    But what an awfull story, it brings tears in my eyes because I cannot understand why people can’t stand other people because of their sexuality, or believe, or color of their skin. I think it’s really awfull, awfull. I cannot say anything else. I hope your son is strong.

  3. 08.30.2017 / 8:41 am

    Some of my most.. .”ashamed of myself” (feel like there’s a single word for that but i can’t think of it) moments have been times that I had the opportunity to speak up in someone/thing’s defense…and did not. I also tend to be a slow listening processor and I can’t find Just the Right Words til later after the moment has passed. I’m SO uncomfortable with confrontation. Ugh, these are all weaknesses on my part that have rendered me useless at times when a defense was needed. So I can REALLY appreciate how you felt when, in the moment, you did not react. BUT you had the strength to go back in later and say what needed to be said, so hats off to you, Mama!

    Plus, those shoes are beyond darling!


  4. 08.30.2017 / 9:09 am

    Hypocricsy needs to be called out, exposed for what it is. Yes, hypocrites seldom change; if anything, they dig in their heels deeper, maybe even accuse you of being intolerant of their beliefs (the irony…). But I applaud you for being brave, and calm and composed, and doing your bit to make the world a little bit better. You are proud of your son, but he can be proud of his mother, too.
    Tiina L recently posted…Cool and ChicMy Profile

  5. 08.30.2017 / 9:58 am

    Well I was writing a post and hit a button and lost it so I hope you don’t get two from me. Anyway, Families can be difficult. My dad flies a Confederate flag and my mom thinks Hilary kills unborn babies. All the while they believe they are Christian. My dad carries a gun and actually scares me. They were nothing like this when I was growing up. I don’t know what happened. They live half way across the country from me and I am glad. I call them once a week and pretend all is well but believe me we have had the TALK. It seems a hopeless situation and all my family is the same. They judge and condemn everyday. I am always in a state of shock and now won’t even go visit. I don’t know what the answer is but I keep defending my beliefs and living my life the best I can and hope love will win out.

    I love your outfit too! Very fun and pretty.

    Cheryl Tucker recently posted…Style In The MountainsMy Profile

  6. 08.30.2017 / 2:03 pm

    I don’t understand why some people are so intolerant. It doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make any difference who someone loves – male or female – as long as they’re happy. While attitudes have generally improved over the last few decades, every so often it becomes clear that there’s still so much work to do to get rid of prejudice. When someone wrongs your child you feel it more keenly than if it were against you. It’s good that you got too have your say, hopefully it had some impact.

    No need to apologize for wearing the same jeans again, they look great with the plaid shirt and those gorgeous red lace ups 😀

    Emma xxx
    Emma Peach recently posted…Stripes and Cats + Style With a Smile Link UpMy Profile

  7. 08.30.2017 / 3:46 pm

    GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! I absolutely cannot stand hypocrisy nor do I choose to tolerate judgmental, ill-informed individuals who hate someone simply for who they are. It makes me sick and hurts my heart. I am proud to be a Christian in a Methodist Church where we welcome everyone. I will NEVER understand anyone that thinks they have the right to judge another. This makes no sense. Especially because of sexual orientation or ethnicity. I feel for you because I can only imagine what you must have felt like. It was probably for the best that you had time to process this cruelty and prepare for what you wanted to say. Some things just leave us dumbfounded, like how a family member who knows and loved your boy at one time suddenly deny him. I am happy you said your piece!
    Kellyann recently posted…Another Pink TopMy Profile

  8. Rebecca Purdie
    08.30.2017 / 6:17 pm

    You did what a good mother would do. You stood up for your child. Good for you!!!

  9. 08.31.2017 / 6:53 am

    very nice look! Free, easy but very interesting! 🙂

  10. Jaymie Ashcraft
    08.31.2017 / 9:26 am

    I never understood why people who claim to be of faith are so judgmental of others. It is ridiculous!

  11. 09.1.2017 / 7:00 am

    Debbie, I love the outfit and the shoes (I have those same ones, too, as I do the blue sandals!) But the message! The message here is so great. And I am ashamed of myself as well for not speaking more harshly with a friend of mine who has a twisted hypocritical view on the same topic. It is actually driving me crazy! I have been trying to remain calm and educate in my situation but no avail….because, well, people when they base their beliefs in religion, they often just cannot be reasoned with. I try so hard to be accepting that we all believe different things, but this one really infuriates me as well. Thank you for speaking your truth. I need to get better in this particular circumstance at speaking mine.


  12. 09.1.2017 / 4:08 pm

    Debbie, we love our kids, don’t we? And we will always love them, no matter what. I think what becomes hard for people of faith is knowing how to still love without throwing out their beliefs. It is a learning process for all of us. As a parent there are some things my child does that I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t change the fact that I love her fiercely. Always and forever. It would be nice if everything was simple, but so often it is not. I’m glad you have a close relationship with your son and your love will help him to overcome any obstacles he might face…even stubborn relatives. Great look. Have a great weekend. – Amy

  13. 09.5.2017 / 8:30 am

    I feel, in this time, that if we are silent then it means we are in agreement. I think we’ve been silent too long thinking that good would eventually win over bad and people would evolve. I think we’re in a time of devolving and people are letting their backwards thinking out in the open. I hear you about family dynamics too, but we’re all adults now, not kids, and we have choices. I choose not to spend time with people who are toxic whether I’m related to them or not. So keep saying it out loud! You look great too you loud-mouth!

    Take care,

  14. 09.7.2017 / 1:53 pm

    Debbie, unfortunately people can be extremely judgmental. You stood up for your son, and that’s what matters!
    Love this look on you and you should wear your hair like this more often!

    Much love,